Bullocks with Butterflie Wings

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

Posted in Uncategorized by MommyTaco on 7 January 2014

I know it has been forever since I blogged, but I am sure you will all forgive me by the time this post is done. Homeschooling has taken up nearly all of my time. We may or may not have found a solution (no, he is not going back to a classroom), but it is too early to tell. The last two days were ideal though, leaving me with free time to finally accomplish a long desired project: home made granola bars. I have a serious addiction to Fiber One bars, and want to make my own where I know exactly what is going into them and am not spending an arm and a leg on something I can make myself!

I tried a recipe a few months ago involving pumpkin, for the holiday pumpkin craze, but it just wasn’t what I was looking for and I didn’t have time to experiment again. The ones I made today, however, are spot-on. They came out thin, and I was left wanting a thicker bar, but that was probably just the fat girl in me wanting more cake. These are superb, and I am definitely making these again, and will be trying out different fillers as I go.

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Chewy Chocolate Coconut Granola Bars

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup rice crispies
3/4 cup oat flour (if you do not have, simply grind up rolled oats in a food processor until for you a flour texture, then measure out what you need)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 TBS Splenda baking blend
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup applesauce
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a bar pan/cookie sheet with parchment paper, leaving excess paper folded up over edges. This will be your best friend for the cooling process! Also, set out two cookie cooling racks next to each other, you need a space big enough for a bar pan/cookie sheet to fit.
2. In large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients, finishing with chocolate chips and coconut.
3. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients.
4. Fold wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.
5. Empty mixture onto the pan and spread out with spatula, as evenly as possible. Take another piece of parchment paper, or saran wrap and lay on top of the mixture. Press firmly all over to form the conpressed bars. Use a rolling pin if you’d like – you seriously want to sqush it hard to press it all together – this will help keep them from falling apart. 
6. Remove extra parment paper or saran wrap and bake for 18 minutes, then replace parchment and press again to re-compact (be sure to keep a pot holder between you and the parchment, if you are using your hands!
7. Lift the bottom parchment paper carefully from the pan and place on cooling racks. Cool completely before cutting. Cut however big you want, mine cut out to 24 bars. Store in freezer or refrigerator. I put pieces of parchment between them to keep them from sticking to each other.

Try not to eat them all at once, and don’t forget to share with your friends.

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“God spoke to me today, while I was doing laundry.” – me

Posted in Uncategorized by MommyTaco on 22 December 2012

“God spoke to me today, while I was doing laundry.”

I realize that at times, things I say come across as fairly random, with a touch of sarcasm and wit. This thought I had today has inspired me for the first blog post in… I think nearly two years.

Things have obviously been pretty busy around here, and my social media life has all but fizzled to nothing. You know how much I love the internet and keeping in touch with lots and lots of friends, but there really hasn’t been the time to – and more often of late, no desire.
 It’s starting to get even busier around here, as our family is preparing for our first “real” military PCS move. I call it our first “real” one, since relocating to Ft Bliss/El Paso was really just moving the family to our first duty station with the Army. Beyond that, it’s just been house-swap moving, and lots of it. This is the first house we have spent more than 18 months living in, and I am actually going to miss it.

In preparation for a huge move, I’ve started sorting through stuff in our garage. The bulk of it is old clothes that I planned on fitting into shortly after I was pregnant with our son. Also, there is every single piece of baby clothes that I had for our son, from birth to about 3 years old. I planned on having re-purposed them by now, not them still in a tote nearly 7 years later. Which brings up the sore-subject of the miscarriage I suffered from at the beginning of this year.

I started dwelling on the fact that we would have been getting ready to celebrate our baby’s first Christmas. At this time last year, we had just found out we were pregnant and had our first (and only) ultrasound just two days after Christmas. Talk about an exciting time along with the wonderful feeling of Christmas!

I have decided to sort through the bins and take a lot of things to donations. We won’t be able to take all of our stuff with us when we move, so I have to make sure we are not taking more than necessary. Also, I would like to make sure the things that go into storage are things that we really will need or use in the next 2-3 years. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee we will get pregnant while we are gone, so we are not taking all of the baby clothes – there is just too much. And on the off chance we do have a baby while we are gone, we will have to buy new clothes anyway. So instead of storing it for “maybe” for the next few years, we are going to give it to those who have a need for it now.

As I was emptying out another tub of baby clothes into the washing machine, I started to dwell on the fact that most of the clothes I was holding are the sizes that our baby would have been just beginning to wear. I subsequently began to bawl my eyes out.

But then, I had a sense of calm come over me, and a thought came into my head – “You *WILL* hold her one day.” Now I have never been in the presence of a burning bush, so I have not had any great Biblical style experiences of hearing God speak to me. But I truly believe that He was speaking to me in that moment. For the past 11 months, I have suffered the question of whether I will ever hold another of my children in my arms. And what happens to our babies when they are taken from us too soon – is it for ever or do we get second chances with them? And I feel like that question was answered for me today.

In that moment, I have been given hope. I have had amazing opportunities brought to me this year, which I would not have been able to consider if things had gone differently. And now, our family is getting ready for an amazing adventure. But I know that one day one of the adventures our family will be experiencing is the welcoming of a new family member. I can’t wait to meet her.

catching up?

Posted in Uncategorized by MommyTaco on 7 July 2011

Wow, I can’t believe it has been over 6 months since I have blogged. Obviously, a lot has gone on already this year.

Taco returned safely home from his deployment in early February. We’ve gone on TWO block leaves – the first one being jump-started by having to leave town early to detour through to central Texas for my Grannie’s funeral. Then we headed west to spend a couple of weeks with family in California. While there, my Mom’s brother passed away very unexpectedly. That was a rough trip, but we did have good times. We even went to Disneyland – both mine & the Boy’s first time – and we got to meet Mickey!

For our second block leave, Taco and I decided to take some time for ourselves. After a long year of being separated, we were very excited at the thought of time spent with just the two of us. So we finally took our honeymoon – almost 6 years post-nuptuals! We spent a whole week in beautiful Daytona Beach, Florida. My Mom and Sister were awesome enough to take the Boy for a week and a half. I know he enjoyed his summer vacation just as much as we did!

All this other time has been spent just trying to catch up with life. Some days, I still feel like I’m adjusting to having my husband home again. I have yet to find my groove of getting things done around the house. I’m just so exhausted, it is so hard to find motivation for anything. I also get tired of sitting at the computer, so I’m totally behind on everything else going on in this world.

This Stella needs her groove back.

how low can ya go?

Posted in Uncategorized by MommyTaco on 9 November 2010

This is a new recipe I invented tonight. I call it “Lazy Mom’s Pig-in-a-Poncho.” Amidst attempt to cook dinner tonight, I suddenly saw the utterly obvious lack of ambition there was. I’m not kidding, I’ve done so many dinners this deployment where I am literally struggling for inspiration on something that I could cook for basically one person. I mean, let’s face it – the way The Boy pecks at his food, he can barely count as a second person.

I am used to cooking for several people at once – at a minimum, 3. I cook in bulk and freeze what is left over (we don’t do leftovers very well at our house). These leftovers go toward the nights that I forgot to get something prepped for dinner or just don’t feel like cooking that night. However for the last 9-ish months, I have had no reason to cook a big meal so there are never any go-to leftovers in the freezer to grab. I am slowly getting better at it but tonight was a ground zero night.

So I want to hear it from you girls (and guys, if applicable) – what’s the LAZIEST but CREATIVE “meal” that you have ever cooked for yourself or your family during a deployment? Was it the Lazy Mom’s Pig-in-a-Ponchos with hot dogs and cheese rolled with a tortilla? Was it Enchillada Stacks with stacked tortillas, cheese and katsup? Was it Green Eggs and Hammmmburger with green chilles, cheese and eggs and browned ground beef scrambled together? Spill the beans! If nothing else, it will give everyone some ideas for the next time you’re having a lazy night cooking for one during a deployment.

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In vol. 10

Posted in Uncategorized by MommyTaco on 27 August 2010

Wow, I can’t believe it is already the 10th week of Wifey of A Sailor’s MilSpouse Friday Fill-In! I have really been enjoying reading the other spouses who are participating in this weekly meme. Be sure to check out Mr. Linky on Wifey’s blog so that you can also “meet” some of these fantastic fellow spouses!

This week’s questions are:

1. What secret indulgence do you act on while your spouse is away? (from Devil Dog Darling)
Sleeping in the MIDDLE of the bed! We have a california king sized bed, but when he is home, there never seems to be enough room. I can’t stand being hot when I sleep and when he lays right next to me, he feels like a furnace and I find myself hugging the edge of the bed because I’ve moved away so much. Mind you, we still get plenty of cuddle time when he is home, but it’s a rare treat for us to actually fall asleep touching!

2. If you were a spice, what would you be? (from New Girl On Post)
Nutmeg – few people actually like that spice

3. Where do you go for support when your significant other is deployed? (from Texas Meets Washington)
First, I usually reach out to my mom. We’ve definitely gotten closer in the last decade and I also know that she’s one of those who have been in the shoes as a military spouse. Other than that, I know I can always rely on my BFFs like Mindikins and MeganDubyuh. And, of couse, my AMAZING ring of milspouse friends I know through Twitter.

4. What is the oldest thing you own? (from A Troop’s Girl)
Hard to say, with all the moving we have done, I don’t even know what I still own. I am going to say my Nirvana t-shirt that I got back in the 8th grade. That thing shows its wear, but I freaking love that shirt!

5. How did you vision your future pre-military? (from Daddy’s Duty)
The only thing that I have ever really envisioned for my future was to be working in the animation field. As far as the school girl’s dream for her life? It has been way too unpredictable to even attempt to envision anything.

6 months down

Posted in Uncategorized by MommyTaco on 23 August 2010

Today we check off another big milestone in the deployment – month #6! Theoretically, this means that we are halfway done! WOO HOOOOOOO! (By theoretically, I mean that we’re going off of only a 365 day count-down. I know better than to count on exact numbers with the military. For all I know, Taco could come home a month early but he could also get extended.)

A lot has happened in the past six months, and each little event has helped the time pass by faster than I had anticipated. However I am trying not to dwell too much on all that has happened because it makes me think of the big chunk of time we still have yet to conquer. Now that school is back in session for The Boy, I am hoping that the time will continue to whizz right by and the beginning of the year will be here before we know it.

I think I shall celebrate over a big plate of sushi for lunch!

Mil-Spouse Friday Fill-In vol. 7 & vol. 8

Posted in Uncategorized by MommyTaco on 13 August 2010

One of these weeks I’ll actually fill out Wifey of A Sailor’s MilSpouse Friday Fill-In on it’s opening week. Last Friday I spent the day driving to beautiful Colorado Springs to visit some of my gal pals, @sara0120, @ajuribe and @tammymunson and one of my IRL BFFs, Biff! It was a great weekend, and we even did a Scentsy party! I’ll prob post a blog about that awesome trip some other time, but this one is dedicated to something else! Soooo….

Go on over to Wifey’s Blog to catch up on her posts as well as check out the other lovely ladies who are participating in this fun weekly meme. If you participate, don’t forget to add yourself to Mr Linky so others can find you!

Week 7’s Questions:
1. What is something you wished you’d learned to do earlier in life?
Pay attention during Spanish class in college. Trust me, I could be getting a LOT more use out of it now.

2. What is your biggest pet peeve with the military?
Their seemingly indecisiveness. It feels like they can’t make up their mind sometimes when events/dates change around frequently.

3. What tourist attraction near you have you never seen?
Juarez, Mexico….I really don’t think I’ll be seeing it any time soon, either.

4. What are you avoiding doing right now?
The Boy, who thinks he needs video game tutoring right now. 🙂

5. Wine, beer or liquor?
Depends on the event and my mood. Prob liquor because there’s nothing better than a Jack & Coke!

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Week 8’s Questions:
1. What is ONE thing you’d like civilians to understand about being a military family?
When we arrive at a new duty station, don’t get upset that I strive to involve myself in thmilitary community before I step out into the local community. We are all the closest thing to a local family we are going to have and can relate with each other to the struggles of a PCS, deployment, or any other kind of hardship. We NEED to be able to establish on-post relations for when there may be situations that come up. Even something as simple as who am I going to list for my emergency contact when I’m new to a location and my blood family is thousands of miles away…how am I supposed to know who I can depend & trust in that situation? Yeah, a civilian can step in as an emergency point of contact but they won’t have access to post as easily to help handle the situation.

2. What is your favorite mistake?
I would never refer to any event in my life as a mistake – only a learning lesson. But… getting pregnant out of wedlock…I came out of that with an amazing and supportive husband, and one heck of an amusing child!

3. What indulgence could you give up for a year?
When I was pregnant, I pretty much quit caffeine cold turkey for 9 months…so I guess caffeine.

4. If you could be a winged animal, what would you be?
My “real” nickname isn’t Butterflie for nothing

5. What is one question you’d like to see asked in a future MFF?
Name the biggest way that becoming a Military Spouse made an impact on your life.

a time of celebration

Posted in Uncategorized by MommyTaco on 31 May 2010

A few years ago during a convo involving my husband’s amazing lack of memory for specific dates, I queried what my actual birth date is. After too many stabs at the wrong dates in May, he said in frustration, “Why can’t it be on an important day, like the 4th of July or St Patrick’s Day?” Mind you, his own birthday is the 4th of July and his brother’s is St Patrick’s Day. What followed was my asking what date St Patrick’s Day actually is, and him getting it wrong of course…and a reminder that every few years, my birthday DOES fall on a very important day – Memorial Day.

I honestly feel like this national holiday (and so many others) has lost so much of its original intent. Do people really think that our nation’s leaders put random dates on the calendar as excuses to take a 3 day weekend off work (if you’re fortunate to have that type of job) or make it an excuse to bar-b-que & drink it up with your friends/family? No, it’s a day of observance to honor the precious lives that were laid for the sake of our country’s freedom.

I am not suggesting that we all stop the bar-b-que & friend/family gatherings, but that we take extra care in remembering why we have the privelege of this time together with those we love. Use it as a celebration to honor the lives of the fallen and the freedom at which they died for.

wordy wednesday

Posted in Uncategorized by MommyTaco on 13 May 2010

When I was pregnant, and in my second round of blogging stages, I used to participate in Half-Naked Thursday posts. But that’s been a long time, and honestly you’re lucky to get a new post out of me once a month much less once a week. So I’m not going to jump on the Wordless Wednesday bandwagon just yet. Instead I will do a Wordy Wednesday post today…because it happens to be Wednesday and I have a lot to say since I haven’t posted in a while!

First item of business:
Thanks to all of those who participated in some way with my Military Spouse Appreciation Day (MSAD) Giveaway! Special thanks go out to Bethany, Sara and Tammy for hosting the giveaway on their blogs. Our lucky winners were announced on Military Spouse Appreciation Day to some very excited ladies! Congrats go out to Ashley, MeganDubyuh and WifeyofaSailor. Also on MSAD, Tammy hosted a MSAD Twitter Party where I sponsored one of the prizes. Congrats go out to Amy for winning a Scentsy Plug-in System!

Second item of business:
While we’re on the Scentsy topic, I am going to shamelessly congratulate myself on a couple of things. First, I was “promoted” in less than two months of becoming a Scentsy Independant Consultant. This is more or less a title change for me, but I have moved on from Newbie status, which is really exciting! I am now officially a “Certified Consultant!” Second, I acheived the Scentsational Start Level 1 recognition for having achieved a certain amount in sales within my first 70 days of being a consultant! This is a pretty big deal, and very exciting to me. But I really must thank all of YOU, my wonderful friends and family, for being so supportive and, all b.s. aside, for BUYING through me! I have truly been blessed with such enthusiastic customers and you should all be looking forward to the days ahead when I will be giving even more gifts to show my appreciation!

misc rambles:
The Boy is nearing the end of his first year of school, and my BABY is about to become a PreSchool Graduate! This is both exciting and nerve wrecking for me because I am so unbelievably proud of him, but this just means a whole summer break is coming up that I am going to have to figure out how to help pass the time for both of us now. I am so set in my routine of taking him to school and making only myself busy that it is going to be rough on me. As a previously-working-mother this kind of task is intimidating. I know some of you are probably thinking “you’re his mother, surely you know what to do with him!” but in reality it is a big adjustment for the both of us since I am not used to having him around so much. I already have several out-of-town ventures planned for us and when we are still in town, I plan to make great use of the local parks and summer activities around post and El Paso.

We are nearly 1/4 of the way through our deployment and all in all, time really has whizzed by. Taco’s R&R has been rescheduled almost a whole month earlier than original, which is bittersweet. Sweet that we will get to see him that much sooner but bitter because that it will be that much longer after he goes back. We’re trying to focus on the positive here though, aren’t we? 😛

Hell Paso is starting to live up to its nickname, the temps here are rising into the upper 90s and the frequently 3-digit summer is staring at me with big red eyes. uuuuuuuuugh.

MilSpouse Blog Hop

Posted in Uncategorized by MommyTaco on 1 May 2010

I’m a sucker for anything main stream. If my Twitter friends decided to go and jump off of a virtual bridge, you can bet your sweet ass I’d be right there with them! I saw in my Google Reader feed this morning that a lot of the ladies are doing this thing called a MilSpouse Blog Hop and how could I NOT join in on this fun?!

Hi, I’m the MommyTaco (aka Patty to those who know me IRL). I’m a 20-something mom/wife/artist living this exciting military life. The military is in my blood, so I suppose it’s only natural that I married into it. My Granddad served in the Army, my Grandpa served in the Navy – both during WWII. My Dad retired from the Air Force. What some don’t know about me is that my biggest dream in life was to also enlist into the Air Force. God had other plans apparently, because I grew up with a heart condition that kept me from being able to do much strenuous activity and I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have lasted a day in boot camp. Now that heart condition is no longer a worry and I have to be honest, not a day goes by that I don’t consider enlisting like I had always dreamed of.

I met my husband, Taco, thanks to God’s clever sense of humor, for the second time back in ’04. We discovered after we’d been dating for nearly a year that we had actually met years before that when he had been dating one of my old friends. Apparently we still had some personal growth to go through before we were “ready” to join up, and it’s all the more not to regret anything from our pasts since it was clearly a learning time that we both needed. One week ahead of our first dating anniversary we were married with the Boy (aka Taquito) cooking up in the deep fryer (aka my womb).

At the time we met/married, Taco was serving in the Air Force as an F16 crew chief/mechanic. All niceties aside, he got screwed out of re-enlisting due to his job being cut back with the phasing out of that aircraft from active duty service. Lack of support from those who should have been advising him about re-enlistment or cross-training caused him to be forced out of the service. We spent the next two years either struggling for him to re-enlist as prior service (a snowball has a better chance in Hell than for someone to re-enlist as prior service into the Air Force, apparently) or him having decided that no he didn’t want to go back in. Finally last year he felt the loud, clear, calling of the Lord to go back into the service and we were welcomed with open arms into the Army.

So here we are a full year into this new chapter of our lives. We have already met some of the most wonderful people that we would probably never have come into contact with if it hadn’t been for the military. I am very thankful that God has opened that door back up to us, and can’t wait to see what He’s got in store for us with it. Preferably something other than El Paso, but… I’m actually pretty happy here. Except for missing my man. And I’m sure my story will change once the summer rolls around with the >110°F temperatures.